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Police open fire at Paris train station on woman making 'threats'

PARIS: French police on Tuesday (Oct 31) shot and seriously wounded an unarmed woman who was making threats at a train station in Paris during morning rush hour, police and prosecutors told AFP.

According to witnesses, the woman, who was completely veiled, shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) and “made threats”, a police source said, adding that “police fired because they feared for their safety”.

After passengers on a suburban train alerted police, agents managed to “isolate” the woman at the Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand station on the capital’s south bank which was evacuated, the source said.

She “refused to follow police orders” and threatened “to blow herself up”, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

A police officer then fired a single shot, inflicting a life-threatening injury to her abdomen, it said.

No explosives or other arms were found on the woman, the police source said.

Police have launched two investigations, prosecutors said. One will probe the woman’s actions, while another will elucidate whether the police’s use of a firearm was justified.

France has been under “attack alert” since Oct 13, when a teacher in the northern city of Arras was stabbed to death by a former pupil. The killer later claimed the attack for the Islamic State extremist group.

Many in France, which has large Muslim and Jewish populations, also fear repercussions from the Oct 7 attack by Hamas on Israel and the Israeli retaliation in Gaza.

Bomb alerts have led to the evacuation of dozens of airports, train stations and tourist sites in recent weeks.


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